Stephen Conroy’s ferocious attack on the Left at the Victorian ALP
State Conference on Saturday was an amazing event to watch. While the
shouting and screaming was just extraordinary, it was very interesting
to see how the Left failed to defend their besieged party president
Bryan Daley. Kim Il Carr sprinted to the stage to rebutt the attacks
from Senator Conroy, but his speech was a rambling spray with few
punches landed. After that, we just had lightweights as the left union
heavies and the likes of Jenny Macklin stayed out of the fray.

Carr prides himself on leading the Victorian Left. The ideological
troglodyte is known to call journalists and tick them off for quoting
senior Left sources, declaring that “I am the senior Left source.”
Unlike his NSW compatriot John Faulkner, Carr is no talented
inquisitor, policy genius or oratory inspiration – he’s just a hack who
has been supported by a dodgy system for years.

Carr’s original
sponsor was none other than the notorious Victorian meat industry union
thug Wally Curran, whose hardball industrial tactics helped drive much
of Victoria’s meat industry interstate during the 1980s and early
1990s, and who was seen stalking the conference floor on Saturday.

powerful speech demolishing Carr quoted former Left wing Victorian
Treasurer Tony Sheehan telling ABC radio’s Virginia Trioli last week
that Carr himself was the king of branch stacking. Indeed.

since Joan Kirner and Tony Sheehan sent Victoria’s public finances onto
the rocks in the early 1990s has an ALP Left faction been given total
control of a state government’s finances. So it will be very
interesting to see how NSW Left godfather Andrew Refshauge goes
producing his first NSW budget tomorrow.

Unlike Tony Sheehan,
Refshauge doesn’t have a fellow Left faction member as his Premier,
something Victorians suffered from with Joan Kirner. Conroy demolished
Kirner’s recent claims about branch stacking by digging into the
archives and quoting other examples over the past 12 years when she
went public expressing concern about Right wing branch stacking and
party practices.

Conroy declared that she only went public when
the Left didn’t have a preselection deal – and that was at the heart of
all this high moral ground grandstanding about branch stacking at the

The Left and the unaligned are worried about 4-5 Federal
seats which the Right would probably use to parachute the impressive
AWU heavyweight Bill Shorten and talented ACTU heavy Richard Marles
into Parliament. The Right is probably more receptive to Rich Lister
Evan Thornley, the founder and chairman of Looksmart, getting a clear
run as well.

Conroy is a whatever-it-takes politician, but if
that was the outcome from his onslaught against the troglodytes in the
Victorian Left, his federal colleagues would have much to thank him
for. Getting better talent into the Federal Parliament and onto the
front bench is something that Labor desperately needs at a time when
the Liberal ranks are being boosted by newcomers such as Malcolm
Turnbull and Andrew Robb.